7 votes

Guild Wars 2 Developer ArenaNet Plans For Mass Layoffs

17 comments

  1. [11]
    masochist Link
    They also recently shut down Wildstar back in November as the article says, letting go all of the folks at Carbine. This is rather worrying both for the people affected and also for the wider MMO...

    They also recently shut down Wildstar back in November as the article says, letting go all of the folks at Carbine. This is rather worrying both for the people affected and also for the wider MMO industry. This is why I'm so skeptical that something like Pantheon can be successful. I want to be wrong, but I doubt I will be.

    5 votes
    1. [10]
      Easlye Link Parent
      There is a starving community that has patiently waited for an old-school MMORPG for almost two decades. If Pantheon is good, I expect it to thrive.

      There is a starving community that has patiently waited for an old-school MMORPG for almost two decades. If Pantheon is good, I expect it to thrive.

      1. [9]
        masochist Link Parent
        People keep claiming that, but when someone actually makes an oldschool MMORPG (Wildstar, which I keep mentioning), no one plays it.

        People keep claiming that, but when someone actually makes an oldschool MMORPG (Wildstar, which I keep mentioning), no one plays it.

        3 votes
        1. [8]
          Easlye Link Parent
          That's because they are bad. Wildstar had a ton of problems that weren't remedied in time for the player-base to care.

          That's because they are bad. Wildstar had a ton of problems that weren't remedied in time for the player-base to care.

          1. [5]
            cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
            Sure Wildstar had a few major issues at launch, especially the endgame raids, but it was still more than playable and most of the problems were ironed out after a few weeks/months. The problem was...

            Sure Wildstar had a few major issues at launch, especially the endgame raids, but it was still more than playable and most of the problems were ironed out after a few weeks/months. The problem was that by then 90% of the player base had already vanished. And I strongly suspect that had way less to do with the bugs (does nobody remember how fucked up WoW was at launch?) but instead because most people who claim to want a "hardcore, oldschool MMO experience" forget just how much of an insane time investment they take and how frustrating/tedious an experience they are, even when entirely bug free.

            Back when I was 16, I wouldn't bat an eye at losing an entire nights sleep over the weekend staying up playing Everquest, grinding out a quarter of a level, accomplish nothing but wipe after wipe while learning a raid dungeon, spending an hour after dying every time on corpse recovery, or camping a rare spawn for a slight chance at an awesome epic item. But nowadays? No fucking way! I value my time way too much to put up with that anymore and Wildstar was the game that finally made me realize that. I suspect I am not alone in that either.

            7 votes
            1. [4]
              Easlye (edited ) Link Parent
              You speak the truth, but an old-school MMORPG that ticks all the boxes will do well, IMO. It'll just be like the MMORPG that WoW was originally aiming to be, a 100k sub MMO instead of the 12...

              You speak the truth, but an old-school MMORPG that ticks all the boxes will do well, IMO. It'll just be like the MMORPG that WoW was originally aiming to be, a 100k sub MMO instead of the 12 million sub behemoth that WoW eventually became. I just want a traditional old-school MMO that's actually good, not whatever Wildstar was trying to be.

              I also don't think there will be an MMO as hardcore as Everquest was. A melding of both--eliminating needless timesinks where required-- would do a lot to ensure player longevity. Look at the fuss around Classic WoW, there is definitely an audience for it.

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                For sure there is a market. You need only look at Old School Runescape's success to see that. But the question is how much of a market is there really? And in truth, I very much suspect nostalgia...

                For sure there is a market. You need only look at Old School Runescape's success to see that. But the question is how much of a market is there really? And in truth, I very much suspect nostalgia has as way more to do with OSRS' success and the hype surrounding Classic WoW than the hardcore, throwback nature of them... nostalgia which any new "hardcore" MMO isn't going to have going for them. E.g. Albion online, which is basically a highly polished, updated and upgraded Runescape with a bit of Ultima Online thrown in for good measure, and yet despite all it has going for it has largely been a flop.

                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  Easlye Link Parent
                  Nostalgia is the reason that people want to revisit older things. I suspect Classic WoW will be a massive success, but we won't know for sure until later this year. I'll be playing it, and I know...

                  Nostalgia is the reason that people want to revisit older things. I suspect Classic WoW will be a massive success, but we won't know for sure until later this year. I'll be playing it, and I know there are lots of curious people that will pop in. Attaching it to the WoW subscription was the perfect move, and if they actually support it I can see Blizzard eventually either developing Classic WoW with proper hindsight (no flying, dungeon finder, sharding, keep everyone on Azeroth) or just rolling through the expansions every few years. We'll see.

                  Your example in Albion Online is a curious case: it isn't overwhelmingly good, nor is it overwhelmingly bad. It's just OK, which is probably the worst thing for a game to be if it wants to stand out. Why should people play a worse version of Runescape, even if Albion Online has far better graphics? The answer is that they shouldn't, and they don't.

                  I would argue that MMORPG genre isn't dying. Instead, a subset of the genre--the theme-park MMO-- is dying, and it is a miracle it has lasted so long to begin with. A unique, competently developed MMORPG without a looming publisher is something we that the industry hasn't seen since WoW. Everything since then has either been a WoW clone, destroyed by various forms of incompetence, or not ambitious enough in order to succeed. The next generation of MMO's have a really good chance of striking out on their own and becoming successes due to their financial freedom and overall competence, and I couldn't be more excited.

                  2 votes
                  1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
                    You're far more optimistic than I am... I think the issue with MMORPGs is simply there is just too much competition in the multiplayer sphere these days and every major game has some MMO elements...

                    You're far more optimistic than I am... I think the issue with MMORPGs is simply there is just too much competition in the multiplayer sphere these days and every major game has some MMO elements in them now. But IMO the other issue is a fundamental one... they are generally pretty tedious, frustrating and basically just glorified skinner boxes by nature and when there are so many other games out there to play out that aren’t like that, why would most people waste their time on them? Especially when the social element isn't unique to just MMORPGs anymore either.

                    I honestly doubt we will ever see another truly successful classic MMORPG any time soon. They are far too expensive to produce and BRs and MOBAs have largely usurped them.

                    1 vote
          2. [2]
            masochist Link Parent
            Can you explain a bit about what the problems were? I had fun with it in my short time with it, though I also didn't get very far into it. I definitely think it had some ideas worth stealing (the...

            Can you explain a bit about what the problems were? I had fun with it in my short time with it, though I also didn't get very far into it. I definitely think it had some ideas worth stealing (the Bartle taxonomy sidequests were something I deeply enjoyed), so I'm curious to see some criticism.

            1 vote
            1. Easlye Link Parent
              I never really got into it, TBH. Just wasn't my thing. A lot of people were turned off by the style, the raids, and the questing. I don't know of much else without doing some research.

              I never really got into it, TBH. Just wasn't my thing. A lot of people were turned off by the style, the raids, and the questing. I don't know of much else without doing some research.

              1 vote
  2. [3]
    alyaza Link
    another set of layoffs in the gaming industry? aren't we only like a week removed from the last set (assuming you don't count razer's small series of layoffs this week)?

    another set of layoffs in the gaming industry? aren't we only like a week removed from the last set (assuming you don't count razer's small series of layoffs this week)?

    3 votes
    1. AlastrionaCatskill Link Parent
      Yeah, tech stocks in general dropped pretty hard in 2018. Gaming stocks were hit especially hard due to lots of negative news, including but not limited to: Diablo Immortal "You all have phones,...

      Yeah, tech stocks in general dropped pretty hard in 2018. Gaming stocks were hit especially hard due to lots of negative news, including but not limited to:

      • Diablo Immortal "You all have phones, right?"
      • EA Battlefront 2 and the myriad of international legal committees spawned from "Pride and Accomplishment"
      • Bethesda's Fallout 76
      • Lootboxes and anti-consumer practices in general.
      9 votes
    2. WaterPocket Link Parent
      With NCSoft's track record, I can't say it's too much of a surprise. Look at City of Heroes, it was shut down with everyone laid off immediately following the release of Guild Wars 2. NCSoft has...

      With NCSoft's track record, I can't say it's too much of a surprise. Look at City of Heroes, it was shut down with everyone laid off immediately following the release of Guild Wars 2. NCSoft has done little in attempt to get themselves out of this hole they've been digging for the last decade.

      1 vote
  3. OberstKrueger Link
    I just hope that ArenaNet is not hit hard enough where they'd consider taking the original game offline. Guild Wars holds a special place in my heart, and I still regularly enjoy jumping back into...

    I just hope that ArenaNet is not hit hard enough where they'd consider taking the original game offline. Guild Wars holds a special place in my heart, and I still regularly enjoy jumping back into it for a week or weekend, and just exploring around. Still have a lot of fun with it even after all these years.

    3 votes
  4. GandalfTheGrey Link
    There was a time I more seriously considered going into game development and working on art assets, but this is a headline I've seen over and over again. Long, stressful hours, meagre pay, and the...

    There was a time I more seriously considered going into game development and working on art assets, but this is a headline I've seen over and over again. Long, stressful hours, meagre pay, and the sword of Damocles always over your head are insane working conditions. I love that people are in the industry for the love of making the games, but I hate seeing them suffer so. I had some cool email conversations with artists from ArenaNet, sad to think they might be caught up in the layoffs after some really fine work.

    On a side note: I've found that game artists love getting emails from fans and students who are interested in the industry. I suspect they don't get a lot of individualized attention after working on a game for years(?!?)

    3 votes
  5. Espionage724 Link
    I had a lot of fun with GW2 when it came out. But that game seems to just lack something to really do at late-game, or maybe it's a lack-of incentive or motivation to do things. I'm not really...

    I had a lot of fun with GW2 when it came out. But that game seems to just lack something to really do at late-game, or maybe it's a lack-of incentive or motivation to do things. I'm not really sure how to explain it exactly though... I've played WoW for a good while and haven't had a problem finding something to do late-game.